Eric Farber is CEO and chief legal officer of Pacific Workers’ Compensation Law Center in Oakland, California. Eric recently...
Christopher T. Anderson has authored numerous articles and speaks on a wide range of topics, including law firm management,...
Nurturing a healthy culture in your law firm creates happier employees and a more productive business, but what do you do if your current culture isn’t what you want it to be? Host Christopher Anderson talks with Eric Farber about the strategies from his book “The Case for Culture: How to Stop Being a Slave to Your Law Firm, Grow Your Practice, and Actually Be Happy,” and his specific guidance for bolstering firm culture in the midst of the pandemic.
Eric Farber is CEO and chief legal officer of Pacific Workers’ Compensation Law Center in Oakland, California.
Putting Culture First How and Why to Intentionally Create Yours
Intro: Managing your law practice can be challenging. Marketing, time management, attracting clients and all the things besides the cases that you need to do that aren’t billable. Welcome to this edition of The Un-Billable Hour, the Law Practice Advisory Podcast. This is where you’ll get the information you need from expert guests and host, Christopher Anderson here on Legal Talk Network.
Christopher Anderson: Welcome to The Un-Billable Hour, the Law Practice Advisory Podcast helping attorneys achieve more success. We’re glad you can listen today on Legal Talk Network. Today’s episode is about people. As you know, we sometimes talk about marketing and sales, and sometimes about physical plant, sometimes about financials. But today, we’re talking about people, particularly people that work in your law firm business. And how together they promote and create a culture in your business, whether you intentionally foment that culture or not. So the title today is “Putting Culture First How and Why to Intentionally Create Yours” and my guest is Eric Farber.
Eric is the CEO and Chief Legal Officer of the Pacific Workers’ Compensation Law Center. He is on a mission to change how law firms operate by showing lawyers the value of putting culture first. During his 25 years as a lawyer, he has lived the transformation from scarcity to abundance that becomes possible when you shift your perspective and prioritize people. Eric’s focus on culture helped him to build his seven-figure firm that’s gone from four people to 40 in just five years. He’s been an Inc. 5,000 company twice, was at Bay Area 100 list of fastest growing companies. And he spent two years in the %op 50 of the Law Firm 500.
And of course, I am your host, Christopher Anderson. I’m an attorney with a singular passion for helping other lawyers achieve success with their law firm businesses. In the Un-Billable Hour, every month we explore an area important to help you be a more profitable lawyer through growing your revenues, getting back more of your time and/or getting more professional satisfaction from your business. The Un-Billable Hour is dedicated to bringing you guests each month to help you learn more about how to make your law firm business work for you instead of the other way around.
But before we get started, it’s time to do a little business. I want to say thank you to the sponsors who make this show possible: Alert Communications, Scorpion and LAWCLERK. Thank you to each for giving us the opportunity to spend this time together.
Alert Communications, if any law firm is looking for call intake or retainer services available 24/7, 365, just call 866-827-5568.
Scorpion is the leading provider of marketing solutions for the legal industry with nearly 20 years of experience serving attorneys. Scorpion can help grow your practice. Learn more at scorpionlegal.com.
LAWCLERK, where attorneys go to hire freelance lawyers. Visit lawclerk.legal to learn how to increase your productivity and your profits by working with talented freelance lawyers.
Today’s episode of The Un-Billable Hour is “Putting Culture First” and my guest is Eric Farber, and he’s the CEO and Chief Legal Officer of Pacific Workers’ Compensation Law Center. And Eric, welcome to The Un-Billable Hour.
Eric Faber: Hey! Thanks for having me.
Christopher Anderson: Oh, it’s my pleasure. And before we get started, I do also want to remind folks or not remind folks, because I haven’t said anything about it yet. But I want to tell folks, we might sound a little different today. I am not in my usual studio for The Un-Billable Hour, so I’m sure the sound is a little bit different, and Eric is not in his usual place to do these things. So I’m working from my kitchen in New York City. You may even hear sirens or something outside. And Eric is — I think you’re working from home as well. Is that right?
Eric Farber: In my dining room table.
Christopher Anderson: There we go. So yeah, if you hear a dog or siren or something, just understand that we’re all doing what you need to be doing too. We’re getting it done, we’re finding the opportunities out there and not letting the significant inconveniences that exist to deter us from bringing you the show. So I welcome everybody and I welcome you Eric. I’m notorious of course for giving fairly inadequate introductions, so I thought we just start today with asking you just to tell a little bit more about your business, about the Pacific Workers’ Compensation Law Center. And also, what brought you to this topic of culture? What about your background before we actually get into it? What led you to want to write about it and want to talk about it?
Eric Farber: Well, I’ve only been doing this workers’ comp at Pacific Workers’ for about five years, a little more than five years. Prior to that, I was actually a sports and entertainment lawyer for over 20. And had basically started out in representing in their legal life athletes, entertainers and that actually led me to work in Hollywood for quite some time. I worked at one of the talent agencies. I worked Sony Pictures. And then came back 20 years ago, I think it is, and set up shop to be a lawyer again. I actually wasn’t practicing when I was at Sony Pictures and in the talent agency.
I was again representing athletes and entertainers and really was one of those 80-hour a week people, 247 availability, traveled a couple hundred days a year. And I actually got to a point where my body was completely breaking down at a very young age and had a terrible back, and ended up in emergency surgery in Buffalo, New York in the dead of winter. There for a case for an NFL player, and realized I had to start doing something different, and decided to start a business more than a being a lawyer, which I think many lawyers are sort of high-priced hobbies, right?
Christopher Anderson: Yeah, that’s the theme of what we do here. It’s just to help lawyers understand that you like it or not, you are in the business, you’re a business owner.
Eric Farber: Yeah. So I really started crafting something different at that point. My work with all the athletes, because I represented probably a couple hundred athletes, had led me to the stuff about CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Christopher Anderson: And just for everybody, that’s the disease that like football players get from getting hit a lot, right?
Eric Farber: Correct. Concussion diseases. And so, it led me to workers’ comp for professional athletes, it was sort of easy to pivot into that. I hired somebody that knew how to do that kind of work and started doing workers’ comp for this — for my current clients to just sort of pivoted to a new thing for them.
And that, we started to do okay and I said, “Okay, this is working and I like the fact that I don’t know how to do those cases.”
Christopher Anderson: So you’re not tempted.
Eric Farber: So I’m not like actually working them. And so we started doing broad-based workers’ comp, community-based, which is what I say, which is first responders, truck drivers, retail workers, restaurant workers, healthcare workers. And we partnered with Scorpion. I’m going to plug your sponsor here, because we found Scorpion, thankfully, and they have been phenomenal. And we started getting in cases beyond imagination and we started to grow. And all of a sudden, I was managing a company that was far bigger than my previous incarnation in companies. Which the biggest I’d ever gotten to was about 12 people, and all of a sudden, here I was. And it was going and it was real.
And I started digging in as a business owner out of fear probably, like, “Oh my god! This is a real company.” And I started digging in and reading as much as I possibly could. I’m up to now about 40 to 50 books a year. And really, all the real thought leaders of today’s world as Business 2.0 as I call it, they all came back to culture. And so, I started looking at it in different ways and really started building a fabric together of so many different thought leaders on what this means to a law firm.
I’m good friends with Michael Mogill from Crisp Video. And Michael and I talked quite a bit. He put me on stage at one of his conferences. And I got off the stage and he said, “Let me hook you up with my publisher. You need to write this down.” And that’s sort of how the book happened.
Christopher Anderson: Excellent. That’s really cool. And yes, and the book just for everybody, again. I think I mentioned it, but it’s the Case for Culture. Maybe you could tell everybody. I don’t have the — it’s got a subtitle. What was that subtitle again?
Eric Farber: It’s How to Stop Being a Slave to Your Law Firm, Grow Your Practice and Actually Be Happy.
Christopher Anderson: Yes, indeed. But you can find it easily now, the Case for Culture on Amazon or your favorite bookseller. And so you decided to, I mean, you basically, you’ve been talking about it, you’ve been talking to thought leaders about what culture means for a law firm, and then you decided to put it down in this book. And when I describe the title of the show, because I think one of the things that people mistake when people talk about culture and then how important it is. I think you mentioned in your book Peter Drucker’s quote, “Culture is processed for lunch, or for breakfast.” I always forget which meal is —
Eric Farber: Culture eats strategy for breakfast.
Christopher Anderson: Yeah, breakfast.
Eric Farber: Right.
Christopher Anderson: So people are like, “Oh, well dude, we need to get some culture.” But what people don’t understand is, every law firm, every business has culture. If you ignore it, it’s not like you don’t have it. It’s just — you don’t usually have the one you want.
Eric Farber: Right.
Christopher Anderson: So can you just talk a little bit about what from your perspective, from your learning from these thought leaders you’ve talked to. What does culture mean in the context of a law firm? What does it really mean?
Eric Farber: Well, I think it means kind of the same thing the context of any business. But in law firms and basically service businesses that have sort of degreed professionals, whether that’s a medical office, or a dentist’s office or an accounting firm are all going to kind of face the same thing.
Because generally, what you see is a caste system, and it’s particularly bad in places like medical offices and law firms. Because I think a lot of law firms separate people, tell a great story in the book about doing your case years ago for actually very famous NFL player down in Atlanta. And I got to the office there and they all were calling me Mr. Farber.
Christopher Anderson: Yes, I read that. That was — I’ve had that experience as well. You actually tried to correct that, but it didn’t go well.
Eric Farber: No, it actually didn’t go well, they pulled me aside the next day and said, “Would you please make sure that they call you by your last name. We want to make sure we delineate between lawyers and everybody else.” And I just couldn’t believe that, right? And that was many years ago actually.
So culture in a law firm is about making sure that everybody feels valued is a start, but also, it’s a mix of being disciplined in your processes, being disciplined in your brand, being disciplined in how people answer the phone. It’s making sure that you’re putting forth an exact discipline of how every single thing is done in the law firm, but then making people feel valued, making sure that people understand that just because you’re not a lawyer, that you have growth opportunities there if everybody is on board. And really bringing people together as a team.
And I think one of the things that I really did in getting to this is, I read a lot of books on team dynamics. One of the best ones, Sam Walker’s, The Captain Class. And really looking at things almost from statistical analysis, right? What makes the best team? What are the best practices for communication? What are the best practices for making people feel heard and listened to? Brene Brown’s work on this stuff is unbelievable. And then Simon Sinek, you can’t ignore what Simon Sinek has sort of done. And now, I’m in the middle of his latest book on this stuff.
So really, culture is — and I call it a 360 culture because you’re looking at I t and saying, you as a leader have people to take care of and want to do it, so everybody realizes that they have growth opportunities, that they have somebody to look to that there’s a set of values that everybody can share and a mission that you can all be on together.
Christopher Anderson: I think when you make sure that everybody feels taken care of then they also feel, I guess that the culture is or the standard way of behaving is that we all take care of each other.
Eric Farber: Very much so.
Christopher Anderson: And we take care of our customers, which is of course very important as well.
Eric Farber: I have a saying, if I sum it all up is, your job as the leader is to take care of the employees, the employees take care of the clients and the clients take care of everybody.
Christopher Anderson: Yeah, and I think that’s exactly a way to think about it. We are talking here today with Eric Farber. He’s the CEO and Chief Legal Officer at Pacific Workers’ Compensation Law Center. I keep wanting to say workers’ comp. And we’re also talking about his book, most specifically the Case for Culture. When we come back, I’m going to ask Eric to talk a little bit about the distinction he makes between stakeholders and shareholders. And we’ll talk more about culture.
But before that, we’ll hear from our sponsors.
Advertiser: Now more than ever, an effective marketing strategy is one of the most important things for your firm. Scorpion can help. With nearly 20 years of experience serving the legal industry, scorpion has proven methods to help you get the high value cases you deserve. Join thousands of attorneys across the country who have turned to Scorpion for effective marketing and technology solutions. For a better way to grow your practice, visit scorpionlegal.com.
Advertiser: LAWCLERK is where attorneys go to hire freelance lawyers. Whether you need a research memo or a complicated appellate brief, our network of freelance lawyers has every level of experience and expertise. Sign up is free and there are no monthly fees. Only pay the flat fee price you set. Use rebate code UNBILLABLE to get a $100 Amazon gift card when you complete your next project. Learn more at lawclerk.legal.
Christopher Anderson: And we’re back with Eric Farber, the CEO, Chief Legal Officer of Pacific Workers’ Compensation Law Center talking about his book, The case for culture. Before we went to the break, I said I was going to ask you about the difference, the distinction you make as you talk a lot about stakeholders and shareholders. Can you just talk a little bit about what those words mean in the context of culture, in the context of a law firm business?
Eric Farber: Yeah. I mean, we’ve already talked about know really putting people first as I call it. And you know, for many, many years in this country and really worldwide, especially in publicly-held companies. Milton Friedman said, “The whole purpose of a business is to generate profits,” and so that’s generating profits for the shareholders of course.
And so, we’ve operated pretty much since, I think he said that about the ’30s or ’40s, and we’ve operated on that. In fact, it’s gone further than that. Many states actually codify this, and make it mandatory that shareholders are put first. The idea of putting stakeholders first, which really goes back to Smith’s The Wealth of Nations back in the 1800s. He said, “The whole focus of business should be on the consumers.” And that really was the focus for many years until Milton Friedman sort of shifted it.
The idea of putting stakeholders first is, it’s stakeholders first and then shareholders. That’s everybody that the company touches. That’s the employees, that’s the clients, that’s the vendors, everybody that you come into contact with as a company comes first. And if you can truly do that, if you can truly focus your energies on your team and make them feel valued, focus the money on your team as much as you possibly can. Then the shareholders sort of win at the end, don’t they?
Christopher Anderson: Yeah. I mean, I think that’s the idea, right? Is that if you do these things, if you follow the concept of taking care of all those things, then the business should do better and the shareholder should do better as well. And I think like, one of the problems with Friedman is, it’s not only been followed, but it’s gotten hyper to a hypersensitive degree. So not only our shareholders come first, but we’ve gotten down to like where quarterly results are what come first.
And I think you mentioned Simon Sinek, I value his words but there’s a lot of ethical erosion that happens as you pursue profits as a primary, and then sometimes only pursuit. And what I think he showed and what I think you’re talking about is at the end of the day, that ends up badly. Because when you don’t take care of your employees, when you don’t take care of your vendors, when you don’t take care of your customers, eventually they don’t take care of you. And your profits disappear usually precipitously and make you extremely vulnerable to disruption.
What do you talk about regarding that?
Eric Farber: Oh, there’s no question, I mean, we live by set of values. And Simon Sinek actually really details this well in his last book. He talks about Wells Fargo. I’ve actually known Wells Fargo for a long time to be quite an amazing company, right? And they were one of the few that sort of stuck to their values before the previous CEO and Chairman. And actually, would have probably survived the crash in 2008 because they actually stuck to values. And then they did something like opened up accounts for people, because without them knowing, because their individuals had to make quarterly numbers. And that’s where it all went bad, the ethics were just thrown out the window. And when there were certain people who actually brought it up at Wells Fargo, they fired them.
Christopher Anderson: For bringing up that there’s a problem?
Eric Farber: Absolutely. So people do erode in the ethics and it h1as a lot to do with — and it’s always comes back to the leaders, right?
Christopher Anderson: Because you said, this happened when the CEO changed and this brings us back to the conversation on culture, right? The culture change, but the culture change from the top. They asked, and told and instructed everybody that to be very numbers-focused and so they did. I mean, they did what they were asked to do.
Eric Farber: Yeah. And they didn’t say — well, let me use an example in our business, in the current business that I’m in. We have thousands of clients, we have eight current case management teams, which we call them, which is a lawyer case manager, and assistant case manager. They have numbers that they’ve got to meet. But the overarching directive is, maximize the cases for the clients. So if you don’t make your numbers, we don’t come around you and say, “Why the hell haven’t you made your numbers?” We say, “Is everything okay?” Right?
There’s nobody that is on the chopping block for not making their numbers. We started somebody recently as a new lawyer, he’s probably been with us for like eight or ten months, might be a little bit longer than that. For the first six months, he didn’t make his numbers. We didn’t say, “You’re on the chopping block and you’re going to get fired.” Because we knew he was working hard and the rest of the people are going to make up for it, because we believed at him. And we wanted to make sure that even though he was getting really almost depressed about it, we –as I always say, you’re here because I believe in you even on the days that you don’t believe in yourself.
Christopher Anderson: That’s beautiful, yeah. So earlier, I butchered the Peter Drucker quote and you fixed it or me, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”
We talked about that and we’re talking about culture. Through your research and through what you’ve written about, what do you think that means? What does that mean to you that culture eats strategy for breakfast? Because certainly, we spend a lot of time in our businesses talking about strategy. So what do you mean by this?
Eric Farber: Well, I have done an enormous amount of research on that quote, and I’ll give you the number one thing that I found. Peter Drucker didn’t actually say it. He is credited with it, but it was a couple of guys who were business writers and somehow, I’ve never been able to sort of make the leap of how he got credited. And he never, through all these years, never said, “I actually said it.”
But what does that mean? That means if you hire the right people, if you create a great a great culture, if you lead with a great mission which is all these sort of basic things, if your company has principles and is principled then it doesn’t really matter what business you’re in, which is the strategy side, right? Because you’re going to have people that are all going to be focused on the goal of serving the client so to speak. I was in a — we have gone from working with athletes and entertainers to workers’ comp for pro athletes to workers’ comp for broad-based and really serving them in very different ways.
And we’ve gone through a lot of people to get to our core people and we’re actually about 50 people now. We know that hiring the right people, it really doesn’t make any difference. I literally could say, “Hey, we’re going to be in the real estate business tomorrow and we would be fine.”
Christopher Anderson: So you say that — you’re helping me segue to my next question, but you’re saying your hiring practice is very much around the cultural set of the person with it with your culture and not skills based, not can they do the job because you feel like you can get that in them regardless.
Eric Farber: Absolutely. I mean, we our hiring process which comes from a guy named Adam Robinson who wrote the book “The Best Team Wins,” which I highly recommend. I don’t know Adam Robinson at all, but he owes me because I probably talk about his book more than anybody else. He actually has a hiring platform called Hireology.
So I’m going to ask people and vet people essentially the same way whether they’re coming in as a senior lawyer or they’re coming in as somebody scanning the mail. I’m looking for cultural fit, which really to me means a value’s fit. Of course, I want them to be able to write a sentence without grammatical errors. But I’m going to focus on what are they what are they looking for themselves. And we do testing, we do cognitive testing but we are leading with the culture from the first, from the job post and it even goes before that, right?
We’re really looking at what are the skill sets for particular jobs. Not the hard skill sets but the soft skill set. Who’s empathetic? Are they truly empathetic? What do they want to do every day? Are they okay with being on the phone every day? If you’re not okay with sitting at a desk every day, you probably shouldn’t be in a law firm if what you really want is to be outside in the sunshine, right?
One of our skill tests I guess is, and this is one that I actually came up with. So Adam, you can add this to your book next time or your next book is, we said, we essentially wrote a quick thing and said, “The governor of California, we’re not in California. The Governor of California, Ryan Gosling, we actually use that, needs a new chief of staff. And he has asked his executive assistant to get a recommendation from your former boss a Pacific Workers. Please write your recommendation,” and I think it says something like, “Pretend it’s 10 years from now. And please write your recommendation.”
So, it gets them to focus on what type of individual do they want to be while they’re at our company. And so we’re sort of leading with what’s expected of them if they come in.
Christopher Anderson: That makes total sense. They’re also projecting, like they’re showing you — by talking about the future, they’re showing you where they would want to go and how they’d want to grow.
Eric Farber: Exactly/
Christopher Anderson: We’re going to take a break right here. And when we come back. I do want to talk to you a little bit more about this. But in the last segment, I want to talk to you about what do you mean by culture fit for growth. And then I want to leave our listeners with a couple of things that are more topical to the times. I know you’ve moved to a remote work environment and have some thoughts around managing law firms in a crisis like the one we’re in. So I’d like to talk a little bit about that. But first. we’ll hear a word from our sponsors and we’ll be back in just a minute.
Advertiser: As the largest legal only call center int he US, Alert Communications helps law firms and legal marketing agencies with new client intake. Alert captures and responds to all leads 24/7, 365 as an extension of your firm in both English and Spanish. Alert uses proven intake methods, customizing responses as needed, which earns the trust of clients and improves client retention. To find out how Alert can help your law office, call 866-827-5568 or visit alertcommunications.com/ltn.
Christopher Anderson: Welcome back. We’re talking with Eric Farber. We’ve been talking aboutculture in law firm businesses and the Case for Culture. He’s the CEO of his own law firm business, Pacific Workers’ Compensation Law Center, but also the author of the Case for Culture. Let me just ask you first of all. You talk in your book about a culture fit for growth, and that was just intriguing to me and I think it would be for our listeners. I wanted to see if you could expound on that a little bit.
Eric Farber: Yeah. I mean, when we were building, I really wanted to pay people more. I knew that without paying people more, they really weren’t going to stick around. I mean, that was sort of a first, right? You can have the best culture around, but if you’re paying 12 bucks an hour to people who do hard work every day for you, they ain’t going to be there for long.
But I realized, when a company like ours, which is — we’re high volume workers’ comp, that we really couldn’t do that unless we grew. Because it’s just the margins. So building a culture was about growing, building a culture fit for growth is getting everybody else on board, having great days of onboarding, having a mentorship program, having them really understand that if they jump in and lean in and put playful out so to speak, they’re going to be with you for a long time. That they know that the seat they sit in is just temporary, that the speed at which they sort of move to the next seat and to the next level is kind of up for them.
Christopher Anderson: Not everybody likes that, right? Some people want their seat to stay exactly the same.
Eric Farber: No question.
Christopher Anderson: So I think that’s a really great test.
Eric Farber: Yes, absolutely. But we do look for people who are sort of ambitious, right? John Morgan says, “Look for greedy people. I like greedy people.” Right? That’s great. Sometimes it’s a little bit too much, right? But we wanted to create a culture with great training, great training platforms. One of my dreams is, hopefully not dashed completely, but it’ll keep going after the zombie apocalypse as I’m calling it.
But we just promoted somebody. We finally sort of had the space and the extra money. We just promoted who I think is sort of the person that fits our culture better than anybody else. And I talk a lot about her in the book, Carla to the director of training and culture.
Christopher Anderson: Fantastic.
Eric Farber: Yeah. And so all she’s going to be working on is training people when they first come in, onboarding them, helping onboard them, setting up these training platforms. But also, kind of being that den mother to everybody who’s there, including the lawyers. It’s sometimes hard to get these lawyers to sort of open up and say — even participating in things. We actually make it part of the job description with the lawyers to participate in our craziness of our firm.
Christopher Anderson: Yeah, you’ve got a culture czar, which is fantastic.
Eric Farber: Exactly.
Christopher Anderson: How do you think your — the culture you’ve built, you said, because we have a strong team.
Eric Farber: Well, I think they understand that communication and team building is not going to go away just because they’re not sitting next to each other. And that we’re trying to work on very specific protocols as a leader of your law firm. And I think you’ve probably got a lot of law firm leaders listening to this right now.
Christopher Anderson: Yeah, absolutely.
Eric Farber: This is crisis time. There’s going to be sort of two different ways. If you get on the phones or if you’re just sending emails to your team, you’re doing it wrong. You’ve got to be very clear in your messaging, you got to be calm in your messaging, you’ve got to be direct. I talk a lot in the book about sort of bringing everybody into the fold, letting them ask questions, letting them direct and be autonomous over their job.
And then there’s times you need to sort of be a dictator and say. “This is what we’re doing.” There’s a little bit of that right now because they’re so much uncertainty. Right now, I’m in the Bay Area, you’re in New York. We’re on lockdown by order. It’s a unprecedented time, almost in humanity in modern times certainly. So your people are scared. They don’t know if they’re going to have a job next week. You got to be very honest, very direct, compassionate and empathetic to what they’re going. Because you know as a lawyer that you might have some hard times, but you’re going to get through this.
Some of your people might only have high school educations, and we’re about to go to some pretty unprecedented levels of unemployment. We already have in the Bay Area. So this is an unprecedented time and this is when it’s going to take unprecedented leadership. And we’re not seeing it in the same way that I think, you know, I’m not trying to be political, but I don’t feel like Jack Kennedy is standing up there.
Christopher Anderson: Yeah. Your admonition to the law firm leaders that are listening is, how do they lead their people through this.
Eric Farber: That’s absolutely right. This is not just about a leader making some statements and having a Christmas party or a holiday party or sitting down with them once a year and saying, “Here’s a raise.” This is about true leadership. I talk a lot about in the book is the values that your company projects can be a safe haven to the crazy values that our current culture has to the reality tv shows, to the unprecedented levels of greed, to the craziness that is out there. They can walk in the doors and feel safe.
If safety is a core of culture, now is your time to be a real leader and now is your time to make them feel as safe as you can. Now is your time to use words like, “We.” Now is your time to use words like, “These are unprecedented times, but we’re going to do whatever we can and we’re going to have a question and answer session.” And check in with them in real ways every day, and maybe try to do things like group stretching to try to make them feel like they’re still sitting next to each. We are using Zoom, love Zoom, you should probably buy some stock. It might be the only thing that keeps up.
This is your time and as leaders, it’s your time to be calm, take care of yourself, eat right meditate, exercise, go on walks because you’re going to need the creativity to figure out different ways to lead. And you’re going to need the creativity to figure out how to come out this bigger than all your competition.
Christopher Anderson: Right. And I think that’s the key point I want to leave our folks I think with that because — and I want everybody that’s listening to understand that, that listen, we as lawyers at the end of the day, different law firms, different cultures but we all share one thing in common and that is, we are problem solvers. We solve people’s problems, we solve business problems, we solve people problems and not for nothing. This pandemic and the response to it are causing a lot of problems that we as lawyers are specifically able to help with.
So the opportunities are out there, and if you can communicate that as part of the safety message that Eric’s talking about, I think — and then really go out there and find those things and find those opportunities. You can lead your people and your business through those.
Eric Farber: Very much. Well stated, Chris.
Christopher Anderson: It’s my pleasure, and thanks so much for sharing you’re your thoughts on culture and your book. I encourage everybody to get it, The Case for Culture by Eric Farber, our guest here. Also, I just want to mention, we did mention another book, we never was specific. But Simon Sinek’s, The Infinite Game, certainly recommend that as well for some great thinking. Eric, thanks so much.
Eric Farber: Thank you.
Christopher Anderson: That wraps up this edition of The Un-Billable Hour, the Law Business Advisory Podcast. Our guest again has been Eric Farber. Eric is the CEO and Chief Legal Officer of Pacific Workers’ Compensation Law Center and the author of The Case for Culture. And Eric, if people want to learn more from , or have any questions for you that we didn’t cover because we only have this short time together or about the book. Wat’s the best way for them to get more information?
Eric Farber: Well, we do have a website for the book called thecaseforculture.com. I have a reading list that I am putting out to people. If they want to sign up, I think they can get a free chapter of the book and sign up for the reading list, kind of summarizes several things, thecaseforculture.com. I’m on Twitter, not overly active but it’s @RealEricFarber. Facebook, you can hit me up at Eric Farber. LinkedIn, same thing. Email, if people want to email me, I don’t have a consulting firm, I want to be clear about that. I’m not trying to sell you anything but the book, and I’ll probably give some of those out for free as well. But [email protected]. You can reach me and feel free to — I’m happy to help people through this time as much as we can.
Christopher Anderson: And this is Christopher Anderson. I look forward to seeing you next month with another great guest as we learn more about topics that help us build a law firm business that works for you.
Remember that you can subscribe to all the editions of this podcast at legaltalknetwork.com or on iTunes. Thanks for joining us and we will see you again soon. Everybody, stay safe and be good.
Outro: The views expressed by the participants of this program are their own and do not represent the views of, nor are they endorsed by Legal Talk Network, its officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, shareholders and subsidiaries. None of the content should be considered legal advice. As always, consult a lawyer.
Thanks for listening to The Un-Billable Hour, the Law Practice Advisory Podcast. Join us again for the next edition, right here with Legal Talk Network.
Best practices regarding your marketing, time management, and all the things outside of your client responsibilities.
Legal AI entrepreneur Tom Martin shares how automation adoption by lawyers is accelerating out of necessity and because their clients demand it.
While the pandemic paralyzed many leaders, Michael Mogill offers tips for adopting a growth mindset that will lead you on a path to success....
Eric Farber offers strategies for developing a healthy culture in your law firm.
Tom Lambotte discusses the key tenets of his Optimize Method framework for lawyers.
David Neagle shares tips for developing a mindset that can help bring businesses through difficult economic circumstances.
Kimball Parker discusses solutions to common problems faced by law firms struggling to adjust to remote work.